Trump plans to CLOSE the PLO's Washington headquarters

Trump plans to CLOSE the PLO's Washington headquarters

Bolton's speech will also announce Washington's plans to close the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office over concerns that it is attempting to prompt an ICC investigation of Israel.

On Monday, national security advisor John Bolton announced major changes in how the USA will treat the International Criminal Court. Addition tensions arose after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refused to halt stipends to family members of Palestinian terrorists who committed attacks on Israel, despite a demand from the Trump administration, Fox News reports.

National Security Adviser John Bolton on Monday will label the International Criminal Court as "illegitimate", saying the White House will "fight back" if it probes alleged war crimes by Americans in Afghanistan, according to a report.

A senior Palestinian official confirmed the US would close its de facto embassy in the capital.

If such a probe proceeds, the Trump administration will consider banning judges and prosecutors from entering the United States, put sanctions on any funds they have in the U.S. financial system and prosecute them in the American court system. Considering America's unwavering support for Israel, Palestinian leadership was skeptical of U.S. promises.

"It is ironic that the United States is punishing the PLO, the national representative of the Palestinian people and the highest political body that made the commitment to reaching a political and legal settlement of the Palestinian question", she said, "and that has engaged in negotiations with successive USA administrations for decades".

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The move comes after Palestinian officials urged the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli officials for "war crimes" throughout the region.

Trump's decision to close the offices is just one of several punitive measures taken against the Palestinians in recent weeks.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked the global court to investigate and prosecute Israeli officials for "their involvement in settlement activities and aggressions against our people".

"In theory, the ICC holds perpetrators of the most egregious atrocities accountable for their crimes, provides justice to the victims, and deters future abuses", Bolton said. Senior diplomat Saeb Erekat decried the USA decision as designed "to protect Israeli crimes" and said that the move would not deter Palestinian legal action against Israel. We will not join the ICC. "This is yet another affirmation of the Trump administration's policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people, namely by cutting financial support for humanitarian services, health and education", Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary General Saeb Erekat said in a statement on Monday.

On Sunday, Trump also ordered that $25m earmarked for the care of Palestinians in East Jerusalem be directed elsewhere. It also contends that the PLO is refusing to engage with the US government on peace efforts. "After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us", Bolton said.

"We will consider taking steps in the UN Security Council to constrain the court's sweeping powers, including to ensure that the ICC does not exercise jurisdiction over Americans and the nationals of our allies that have not ratified the Rome Statute", says Bolton's draft text. But threatening companies that dare to assist an investigation?

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